Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump defended the mostly maskless crowd who attended President Trump’s Republican National Convention speech last week amid concerns that it will prove to be a COVID-19 superspreader event, during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
When pressed on the President delivering his acceptance speech on the South Lawn of the White House to an audience of more than 1,500 people who weren’t practicing social distancing and largely flouted masks, Trump insisted that “we always encourage people to follow the guidelines and do what they think is best for themselves.”
“So, we always have masks available. We encourage people to use them,” Trump said. We always have hand sanitizer available. And we encourage people to spread themselves out.”
Trump then suggested that supporters of the President can’t help but want to get physically closer to him.
“But I think you know as it always works out — people always rush towards the front of the stage,” Trump said. “They want to be around this president. They pack themselves in.”
Trump argued that at a certain point “we all have to recognize that people want to get back to normal.”
“And maybe it’s going to a Trump rally that does that, but we are always following the guidelines,” Trump said.
After “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace pointed out that some health officials say that the stacking of chairs next to each other has the potential to be a superspreader event, Trump reasoned that the President’s speech was held at an outdoor venue before going on to slam protesters outside the White House.
“I’ll remind everybody that the folks that were spitting in the faces of our people leaving the convention that night were not social distancing,” Trump said. ‘There was an absolutely disgusting display. The next day, there were, you know, thousands of people on the National Mall all packed together as well.”
Trump went on to insinuate that the flack that the President’s speech has gotten over the flouting of coronavirus restrictions is unfair.
“So, look we either have to say that everybody plays by the same rules, or we have to stop talking about it because whenever you’re talking about the President’s campaign, you know, and how people weren’t specifically socially distanced, but the next day, thousands of people on the National Mall, and that’s not a problem for anybody,” Trump said. “It seems a little hypocritical.”
Trump’s latest remarks aren’t far off from those that a senior White House official told CNN’s Jim Acosta. According to Acosta, a senior White House official had brushed off concerns to him on Thursday evening about the lack of social distancing at the President’s acceptance speech, saying, “everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.”
Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, also got into a heated exchange during an interview on MSNBC Thursday morning as he fiercely defended the large maskless crowd who attended the VP’s RNC speech at Fort McHenry the night before.
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Lara Trump on COVID concerns over large crowd at Trump's RNC speech: "I think you know as it always works out — people always rush towards the front of the stage. They want to be around this President. They pack themselves in." pic.twitter.com/KgKqBgN2DE
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) August 30, 2020